Welcome Sir! We have reserved a seat especially for you!
For a few years when I worked at the Stock Exchange, every time I went to this nearby restaurant for working-lunch, the owner of the restaurant would welcome customers with a wide, warm smile, right at the door and tell each customer about “specially reserved seat”.
Last year I met a CPA, the owner of his 8 persons firm, who is “totally frees up himself” in the entire tax season, to attend to walk-in prospects, clients and phone calls.
The key insight: “Busy time is for focusing on customers”.
But HOW did they manage to achieve the “freedom” for themselves?
It is easier than you imagine. Here’s how…..
Asking the one, all important key question, over and over again:
These owners asked themselves just one, all important key question, many times over, during the non-busy times. They found answers to this one question. And more important than the question itself, what they did with the answers was the key to their “freedom” during the busy time.
The question that they asked themselves first was:
“What CAN go wrong if I am personally not there (at office)”?
If you ask yourself the same question, the answers, multiple answers actually, from the busy tax-season point of view, could be something like:
My staff might quote wrong price for preparing a return.
Preparation of tax return might get delayed.
There may be mistakes in the returns prepared.
Follow up for missing information may become slow.
Collection of payment might become lethargic.
Technology systems might fail.
And so on..
There is one more critical question to ask:
The CPA firm owner who revealed the secret of his freedom during the tax season, also asks himself one more extremely critical question:
“Will anyone else (at my office) other than me be able to close the sale”?
Answering these two questions brutally honestly will lead you to find out the difference between a more successful next tax season and not so successful one.
How YOU can achieve freedom in the upcoming tax season?
Make a quick list of the situations that (you think) absolutely need YOU to be personally present to manage / resolve.
Then for each point in the list, ask yourself WHY.
E.g. Why am I personally required to ensure prompt follow up for missing information?
Note down your answers. Don’t analyze before noting down the answers. Just note down the first thing that instinctively comes to your mind.
E.g. I personally required to ensure prompt follow up for missing information because my team should rather focus on preparing returns that have all information so that I can bill immediately.
Now, for each answer, think of possible alternatives that do not require YOU to do things.
E.g. If I have someone to check all incoming information right at the first time, that person can handover only the complete information returns preparation to my team. This will help improve focus and productivity and also ensure prompt follow up is done. All that I need is a “pre-screening checklist’ and train someone to understand the checklist.
Keep repeating the process till you come to “one-or-two word answers”. Those words are the KEY to your freedom. Those words will tell you what you MUST focus on BEFORE the tax season begins.
E.g. The one-or-two words answers might be “knowledge”, “experience”, “price-sensitivity”, “sales-skills” and so on.
Essentially, this process helps you discover “What (you think) you have that other at your firm do not have”.
And your number one RESPONSE to this “discovery” is to empower your team (and if you are a solo practitioner, your technology), with the required “transition” of knowledge and skills; and to create processes that help avoid things that can go wrong.
Remember: “Busy time is for focusing on customers”.
Over the last 11 years, Pransform has helped accounting and tax firms, including solo practitioners, experience “More Profit, More Sleep” during busy tax seasons. Contact Pransform Today to help you focus on customers.